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To Your Event

How we got more than 100 healthcare professionals to a one-day continuing education symposium in 45 days without buying a single stamp

When we reached out to this client to offer our digital marketing services, we were met with excitement. “If I never have to put another brochure in the mail again, I’ll be happy!” 

Like many organizations, the workgroup had relied heavily on traditional marketing strategies that involved a lot of labor, offered limited insights and produced varied results. Our goal was to help them create awareness for their event, get people registered and demonstrate the value of digital marketing. 

There was only one catch. We had less than 60 days to do it!

Out with the old and in with the new

Traditional marketing strategies go something like this; design a brochure, buy a mailing list, buy postage, mail the continuing medical education (CME) information to said list and hope people show up! 

This approach produces a few major problems. 

  1. It’s difficult to trust that the mailing list you buy is accurate.
  2. Let’s assume you find and purchase a legitimate list. Healthcare offices often have a clerical staff that act as a natural filter for junk mail. Even if your event brochure reaches the right office, there’s no guarantee it will reach its final destination.
  3. Finally, once you put the postage in the mail, you have no more control over the marketing. No control means no quick adjustments, no insights and no analytics. 

Direct mail is not always a winning strategy. We needed a new, dynamic and measurable way to communicate with their audience to ensure their marketing materials stayed out of the wastebasket and in the minds of their audience. We could do that through digital advertising. 

How to get in front of the right person

So how, specifically, could we get past the gatekeepers? Easy. Communicate directly to our target audience on their mobile devices. We do that through Facebook, Twitter and their associated audience networks. 

The audience network is a system of advertising space that lives outside of the social media platforms. For example, when we create advertisements that target physicians, we might choose to reach them in relevant online physician networks. Or we might advertise on a medical journal read by physicians. We can do that a variety of ways, but it’s a very powerful way to get your event information in front of your ideal audience. 

Measuring the advertising impact

Traditionally, the impact of any marketing campaign isn’t evaluated until after an event. With digital marketing, we can measure everything and make adjustments on the fly or easily demonstrate a department’s value proposition to get more buy-in from the higher ups. 

This was a huge blind spot for this client. They had no way of measuring the amount of traffic they received and could not leverage visitor data to deliver ads to people who were interested in a particular CME event. 

So we built an event funnel (a “landing page”) to not only measure our impact but to retarget visitors who were interested in our advertisements. When a healthcare professional clicked on our ad, we sent them to the landing page. When they wanted to register, we sent them to the official registration page. Because of this, we knew that our ads were clicked 3,122 times and our event landing page was viewed by 1,792 people. Additionally, we grew the organization’s Facebook page by 25 people. 

The results

This campaign resulted in more than 100 healthcare professionals attending the first-year symposium. And our client didn’t design a brochure, purchase any postage or drop a single piece of content in the mail.

University of North Texas Health Science Center

Campaign Snapshot

Conference Attendees: 110
Ad Impressions: 257,196
People Reached: 64,967
Landing Page Views: 2,925
Landing Page Visitors: 1,792
Facebook Page Likes: 25
Ad Spend: $2,019.64

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